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Thread: 20' Wooldridge Sport W/jet on big water?

  1. #1

    Default 20' Wooldridge Sport W/jet on big water?

    I bought a 20' Woolly Sport with a Mercury 140 Jet a while ago and would like to get some thoughts and opinions. I've already had quite a bit of fun in a few rivers around here with it, but have had a desire to take it out into the ocean for silvers and possibly halibut. I'm just wondering if anyone on here has any firsthand experience with running something similar out of Whittier, Seward, Deep Creek, or anywhere else up here for that matter. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  2. #2
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    TBlooma has done a few trips with prop and jet setups out of Seward....the chop can get a little old when up and running on step.

  3. #3
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Last civilized place on the planet


    Quote Originally Posted by Dupont Spinner View Post
    TBlooma has done a few trips with prop and jet setups out of Seward....the chop can get a little old when up and running on step.
    Yeah, 2nd. that...........OB jets get old quick in big water, sure they will work, and you have it, so may as well give it go.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”

  4. #4

    Default Done it Lots of Times

    I have a 20ft Sport with 150 HP OBJ. Have been out of Seward, Whittier & Homer with it. It is fine if you are looking at 15 knot or less forecast. You do not want to be in this boat with more than 15 knot winds on ocean water. I can maintain 25 mph (GPS) in less than 15 knot wind waves. Yes you do take a pounding (I have a fancy full suspension driver seat), and sometimes have to chop power to avoid a significant slam.

    I customized my boat to make it safer for the ocean (tall bow rails, rope locker, mounted claw anchor, lunch hook, doubled the size of the bow drain holes, remote steer kicker with separate gas and battery, self inflating life raft, compass, depth sounder, chartplotter, etc .....) otherwise it just would not seem safe to me. These and other similar boats will literally sink like a stone and just about as fast if they are swamped.

    The real issue is the underlying ocean swells. Long period swells are fine even with some wind wave on top. Medium period swells (rollers) are the ones for which you really need to be weather wise if you are going to go out on them. They are easy when there is not much wind wave (10 - 12 kts windspeed), but get scary quickly if the wind heads towards 15 kts or more.

    I check the ocean bouy swell and wind wave data for several days before going out, and monitor the local condition updates all day long whenever I go out very far. I never did get out of Seward last year due to weather and my schedule.

    Remember it takes over an hour to come back from Pony Cove and less than that time for wind waves to kick up to full height. Having said all that, I have been to Barwell Island, Pony Cove, Sadie Cove, Tutka Bay, Port Wells, Culross Passage, etc.. lots of times. Never had the nerve to go around the Capes from Seward, and beware the "day breeze" in Homer. Also been on Tustumena, Kenai & Skilak, and Lake Louise which can all be quite nasty in a hurry and there are no "local condition" updates and "lake weather forecasts....". All of this was with the jet unit.

    Now that I have sea-sickness figured out (Scopace pills) I sometimes wish I had an ocean boat instead of the "all purpose" boat. It just seems that fishing in the rivers is too crowded these days, and while the ocean spots can be crowded also, it is usually not as bad as the rivers because you are spaced farther apart and the "spots" are much bigger.

  5. #5
    Member AKGR0WN's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Peters Creek


    I've done it only once in my boat (20' sport w/175). Went out of Seward last summer and had a blast, caught some fish, enjoyed the scenery, got a tan, and made it back safe. Tito's explanation is awesome and paragraph 2 is why I won't be going back out in my boat anytime soon. Don't have the setup for it and I ran a prop. Too many places to sink and not enough places to go high and dry! We did slam pretty hard on a few rollers and that wasn't any fun, let me tell you. I'll stick to pitching in on gas with someone who has a proper setup and a much bigger boat. Good Luck!

  6. #6


    I appreciate all the information. Tito, I'd like a little more information on what you have for a life raft and what other equipment you carry that is more ocean specific.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.


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